Navy officer sentenced for swindling government

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- A Virginia-based naval officer accused of helping to swindle the government out of $2.7 million in order to fund a high-stakes poker habit, buy luxury vehicles and a second home has been sentenced to more than four years in federal prison.

The Virginian-Pilot reports Lt. Randolph Prince was sentenced this week after pleading guilty in August to offenses, including wire fraud. The 41-year-old Virginia Beach-based naval officer was ordered to pay more than $2,700,000 in restitution.

Court documents show Prince steered government contracts to sham companies that were run by his friends. They sold the Navy "inert training aids," or fake bombs, that weren't shipped but marked as delivered.

A naval flight officer and a former sailor were among Prince's co-conspirators. Both have pleaded guilty to participating in the fraud.

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